late 14c., "able to understand, intelligent," from Latin intelligibilis, intellegibilis "that can understand; that can be understood," from intellegere "to understand, come to know" (see intelligence). In Middle English also "to be grasped by the intellect" (rather than the senses). In English, sense of "capable of being understood, that can be understood" first recorded c. 1600. Related: Intelligibly.
updated on December 13, 2015